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An exploration of the nature of intercultural communication and the use of English in international business correspondence is the principal aim of this study. Different aspects of intercultural communication in a sample of business correspondence consisting of letters, faxes and telexes in English written by business communicators from varied cultural backgrounds are investigated. These aspects include the deviation of linguistic features and expressions, the rhetorical structure of moves and steps with their linguistic exponents, the exchange structure of interaction and negotiation strategies, the organisation of message or information, and theme and theme structure. The implications for teaching are suggested in the design of English for Business Correspondence(EBC) courses which should be geared towards both the product and the process aspects of the intercultural communication through problem-solving tasks and activities drawing on students' knowledge and ability, and promoting students' adaptability. These tasks and activities should focus on both the overt and covert aspects of the negotiation of meanings which are activated via authentic tasks and activities incorporating topics, issues, roles, and linguistic exponents drawn from the socio-econo-cultural contexts of international business and trade.



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